Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cottage Night

I used to be a photography buff and in the early 80s was a partner in a photographic restoration business. Our primary source of income was retouching old or damaged photos and doing black and white developing. We also did custom developing for artists who didn't want the push-button, cookie-cutter developing being offered by most photo shops. So I spent a lot of time in a darkroom inhaling and playing with chemicals.

Oh stop with the knowing nods already!

The business went kaput after a year or two. A couple of years later, my beloved Konica and nearly-beloved Canon developed problems I was too poor to get fixed. My interest in photography ebbed.

When I was shooting a lot, I focused on nightime photography. I loved the ambience provided by streetlights and car headlights. Add gently falling snow, people walking and kids skating, and you end up with some nifty pics reflecting my preferred reality: blurred around the edges.

Like most of you, I bought a digital camera a couple of years ago but never used it for more than snapshots. I disliked the lag when the shutter was depressed. I wasn't thrilled that the flash came on whenever it felt like and I missed not having that B- setting which left the lens open as long as I wished.

A couple of weeks ago while at the cottage I decided to try some night shots with the digital. I didn't expect much good to come of it, given the limitations I expressed above.

When I got home and uploaded the images I was thrilled! Somehow, that wonky flash and hesitating shutter combined to produce some interesting pics - pics with an impressionistic quality, adding colours and dots that my eyes missed.

Reality, blurred around the edges.

Although the photos lose much of their pixelated charm when downsized I invite you to take a peek anyway.

Come. Visit my cottage with me:

Here's the entrance to the driveway.

Here's the view from the left as you go down the driveway. Or is it the right? Yeah, the view is the same pretty much wherever you look. We're back in the bush.

Getting dark. Might be a nice night for a fire.

Brother-in-law Ches selects a worthy hunk of wood.

Nephew Zach avoids chopping off his left hand while cleverly making his right disappear.

Meanwhile, two Samurai spar in the gathering gloom.

It'll soon be hot dog and marshmallow-worthy.

An overturned aluminum boat and nose-planted wheelbarrow frame a poplar.

Nephew Eli cuts down on the glare while toasting his mallow.

An iron goose points permanently north and watches a night fisherman.

Sister Lisa bidding adieu to the day from the dock. The red nose is not a result of chugging that wine. It's a vagary of the light and the camera. Probably.

She's also relieved that I didn't post the picture of her butt.

Oh, what the heck.

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's summertime...

and the livin' is laaaaaaaazy.

I bet I'm not the only blogger whose output has diminished in the last month or so. Okay, I hope I'm not the only blogger whose...etc. I've been too darn lazy to look at other blogs to test my theory.

I wrote in my last column about the heatwave affecting much of the northern hemisphere. That's gotta be a factor too. Any and all effort has a consequence -- sweat. One must be judicious in selecting one's actions to ensure they be sweat-worthy. There have been times in the last couple of weeks when the only effort I wanted to expend was tipping a cool beverage in the general vicinity of my face. I even confessed to not fishing during the hours of 9-5 when I was (briefly) up at my cottage.

My Australian friends, (who are weather weinies, allatime bitching about how hot it is Down Under) have been crowing about their pleasant temperatures while I roast. My Brazilian buddy, who shall remain nameless (Oh hi Van!) bragged recently about the single-digit (Celsius) temperatures he experienced there.

My comfort lies in history of course. I know that this too, shall pass. In a month, this searing heat will be a distant memory and another cool, lovely Canadian autumn will be underway.

Hmmm...what excuse will I use to explain my sporadic musings then?

Oh well, I have a month to come up with something. Right now it's too darn hot.